The grief-stricken mother of three children killed at the hands of an alleged drink-driver has said she cannot hate the man who was behind the wheel.
It is alleged that Samuel William Davidson, 29, was three times the legal blood alcohol limit on Saturday night when his ute hit and killed four children.
Abdallah siblings Sienna, 8, Angelina, 12, and Antony, 13, died at the scene in the Sydney suburb of Oatlands alongside their cousin Veronique Sakr, 11.
Leila Geagea, the mother of Sienna, Angelina and Antony, said she forgave Davidson as she visited the scene of the tragedy on Monday.
“I think in my heart I forgive him. But I want the court to be fair. I’m not going to hate him because that’s not who we are,” she told reporters. “It feels very unreal. I feel like I’m still waiting for them to come home.”
Father Danny Abdallah pleaded with drivers to be more careful as he came to grips with the loss of three of his six children with Leila.
“I don’t know what to say. I’m numb, probably that’s what I feel at the moment. All I want to say is please, drivers, be careful,” he said.
The fatal crash has sparked renewed calls to overhaul road rules in NSW.
Sydney University professor David Levinson said the NSW government should look at lower residential speed limits and tougher drink-driving penalties.
“We need a more serious response to driving under the influence. It’s not taken seriously enough in our society,” Levinson said on Monday. “Speed limits are also relatively high. If you hit someone at a high speed you do more damage and are more likely to kill them.”
Trauma surgeon Dr John Crozier said there was an “irrefutable” link between drink-driving and crashes. NSW should reduce the breath alcohol limit from 0.05 to 0.02, he said.
“The lower threshold of 0.02, which Norway uses with good effect, allows the opportunity of somebody who has consumed a small amount of cough medicine, for example,” he told the ABC.
The four children were going to a shop to buy ice cream at the time of the crash.
An 11-year-old boy has been put into an induced coma and remains in a stable condition at the Children’s Hospital in Westmead. Two girls, aged 10 and 13, were treated by paramedics at the scene and are in a stable condition.
Davidson was arrested after returning a positive roadside breath test result and allegedly recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.15.
He has been charged with 20 offences, including four counts of manslaughter, dangerous driving occasioning death and grievous bodily harm, negligent driving and drink-driving.
He will next appear in court in April.